Tuesday, July 03, 2007

And sometimes I'm just a darn flaky artiste!

Hello all! I'm back from the furthest east you can go in North America (well I think there is actually still a jury out on that one, but I'm still saying it so there)!

It was a lovely trip and I shall regale you with details anon, but I can't hook up my camera to my computer yet, and the story requires pictures so you'll all just have to be patient. Thank you all so much for your well wishes on my birthday! It was a lovely day, and the wedding was so nice, but again . . . pictures.

Anyway, as such I thought I would go back to that blog entry I did ages ago where I asked for suggestions on what to write about here at The Temp, The Actress and The Writer and talk about one of those topics today. And I thought I would address something that has come up a few times in the comments section, and just really in life in general.

And that is: "What the heck are you up to now anyway, writing wise?"

The short answer is I am writing the sequel to Alex. In fact that tends to be the only answer as I haven't really answered the question in any great detail. The reason for that is that sometimes I'm just a darn flaky artiste.

Now what do I mean by that kind of insulting phrase? I mean that for the first time, I think really ever, I am surprisingly protective of my writing. You may have already got the sense from this blog that I'm pretty open about stuff, and have no issues showing off really cool stuff to do with me. Whenever I have written anything in the past I have been very happy to let anyone, heck everyone, read over my glorious prose. Even if I know it isn't quite right yet, it has never really been an issue for me as I've always assumed I'd be able to fix it up.

But this time. This time. I dunno. I feel . . . nervous. Now this isn't to say I don't like what I'm writing. I must confess there are several moments in this new book that amuse me highly. And heck I read the odd section to my parents over the phone, but no one has seen the lion's share of it. It's not finished true. But it's getting pretty close, and I still haven't shared it with anyone. Not even you, my sexy readers.

Why is this, is then the logical next question I must ask myself. Fear, I suppose. I mean I've never written to a deadline before. Expectations, no doubt. Lots of people seem to be enjoying Alex, will this one live up to it? Tradition. My agent says that the second book does tend to be the hardest. But I also think there is something truly artist diva about me right now, a part of me that wants to keep the story to myself, a part of me that likes the intimate relationship I am having with the characters, and doesn't want to share it just yet. And that totally freaks me out, because I have always tried to disassociate myself from such 'artiste' sounding things, to be, as a matter of fact, the anti-artiste.

So I am fighting not only a strange battle with actually sharing the work with someone, but an internal struggle too that is dealing with the pragmatic versus the creative.

It's all rather interesting.

Anyway . . . .

All that said, I am going to just brave it (I did say back at New Year's it was the year of being brave) and tell you a little bit about the sequel itself.

First of all it isn't really what you are going to expect as it doesn't start off with Alex at all. Instead we are introduced to Timothy Freshwater, a boy often told he is too smart for his own good. What happens is we follow his adventure until two thirds of the way into the book, where he meets up with Alex. So in a way it is a bit like both their adventures are running parallel to each other and then continue on together for the last third of Timothy's story. And I so can't tell you much more on that tract because then I'd be giving away the end of Alex's adventure.

. . . in fact . . .

. . . I don't want to give away too much about Timothy's adventure either. I do want to say it involves a dragon, but maybe I shouldn't as it isn't the kind of dragon one usually expects. Well maybe I won't mention it then. Just to be safe.

So there you go. A little inside scoop. A tiny taster in one of those ridiculously small pink plastic spoons from Ye Old Ice Cream Shoppe (interestingly did you know that back in the day "Ye" was not pronounced how we pronounce it, but rather the "Y" represented a "Th" sound so actually back in the day they just said the word as we do?) I hope you found it flavourful.

And I totally promise pictures next time!

It's good to be back.


Crabby McSlacker said...

So I had some comment or other on the whole sharing/not sharing of work issue, and I was ready to pontificate about it, but I got totally distracted by the Ye/The thing.

Really? What a great little tidbit.

Perhaps now we can ban all the cutesy retail establishments that call themselves Ye Olde Anything.

Dawn said...

Second books are hell, Adrienne! I think you get caught up in the pressure of ensuring it is better than the first one.

Long before Ripples hit the shelves I had a first draft to book number two. Now, with Ripples doing well, I've looked at first draft book two and decided that it doesn't have that little something that Ripples has. I'm not quite sure what that something is but it takes a reader over all sorts of horrendous faults so fast that they hardly register them. I need that!

So, now I'm back to completely rewriting book number two. I have the setting, I have the characters, (except now one major one is going to get killed off in the first chapter and doesn't that through a spanner in the works for every following scene!)

I know it's the right thing to do and because the background stuff is so well formed, I don't think it will take that long, but - I am so keen to have book number two out there.

So, I do understand your frustrations with it and that desire to keep it all to yourself. I find I don't talk about this next story the way I did with Ripples.

By the way, I see Schoolastic has been on the best seller list in NZ for children's fiction. It's dropped off on the latest two week period but I will let you know when they're in the list again. It's good to see that your publisher is achieving that out here because that bodes well for Ted.

snarkfodder said...

Hey, welcome back. I don't think you're being flaky at all. Try not to let that pressure get to you, though, as it can be prohibitive to the creative process. (For some, the opposite is true.)

Oh crap, now you'll worry that worrying might hinder you. No pressure, Adrienne!



thenovicewriter said...

Well, from reading your blog and accomplishments, I feel like whatever the hurdle in your way, you will get through it in smashing heroine fashion. Thank you for sharing tidbits from the sequel, but do remember, readers are like friends: once you've won our hearts, it's very difficult to pry us away.

Adrienne said...

crabby - yeah, isn't it cool?

dawn - isn't it crazy, I never expected it to be quite so tricky. To be honest though, despite I suppose the tone of the blog entry, I am feeling quite confident - which is quite a relief! (good to know about Scholastic! It's so weird for me to think that my book will be out at the other end of the world! Dude.)

snarkfodder - no pressure indeed (eye twitch, eye twitch)

thenovicewriter - you are very sweet, thank you. And really if the book doesn't live up, I always have bribes to fall back on.

ORION said...

There was a great article a few years back about how it is best not to talk about your WIP as that tends to drain your excitement and creative energy. Truman Capote is a famous example about talking at length about a novel but not actually finishing it.
I think you are wise. I do not discuss my novels until the fifth or sixth draft and that is with beta readers who do not write. Afterwards...well I find I LOVE talking about LOTTERY. And will bring it up in casual conversation...

M. G. Tarquini said...

A secret source (points up) tells me nothing but wonderful things about Alex and the Ironic Gentleman. I've a couple of ten year olds who'll be getting the scoop come September when you debut. Any chance you'll be swinging through Phoenix for publicity, etc?

Heidi the Hick said...

You just go right ahead and be a flaky artiste.

I myself am a flaky hick and that gets weird. It's all good.

Love the parallel story idea. Please let me know when you're going to be sellling and signing books in the 416. The 905 would be even better!!!

Devon Ellington said...

Trust your instincts. Sometimes talking too much about a piece too early means you talk yourself out before your write it.

Have fun with it!

Adrienne said...

orion - it's so true. Talking about it kind of ruins it a bit doesn't it? Oh and I like talking about Lottery too!

MG - well your secret source is too kind! I don't really know what the plan is come release time, but I think I am sticking to the east coast . . not sure though . . .I love Arizona however!

heidi - we shall be flaky together! Go flaky Canadians! And I will totally let you know what's happening Toronto wise, and I may very well hit the 905 you never know . . .

devon - thanks for the support! You are right of course, it is all about having fun, and fortunately I do! After all, what would be the point in doing it if it wasn't?